Monkeys and Peaches

Dai Hua


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8-bit computer graphic animation (colour, sound)
4 min 38 sec
Dai Hua’s animation pays loving, nostalgic homage to early 8-bit arcade video games such as Pac-Man. It refers to a scientific experiment that is often quoted to show how social behaviour and social taboos evolve. In the famous ‘Monkeys and Bananas’ experiment, monkeys who had been trained by behavioural scientists with aversion therapy techniques not to touch bananas then taught other monkeys the same behaviour. This story reminded Dai Hua of the Monkey King from the classic tale ‘Journey to the West’, who broke a sacred taboo by eating the Jade Emperor’s peaches: the peach struck the artist as a more appropriate symbol of unattainable desire than the banana.
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